Q&A WITH BILL HASS

New principal for Birnamwood
By: 

BILL HASS

NEW Media chatted with Bill Hass, who was recently hired by the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District to fill the Birnamwood Elementary/Middle School principal position. He replaces Guy Steckbauer, who held that job for 17 years before accepting an elementary principal position in the Tomahawk School District.

Q: What is your work/educational background?

A: I have a teaching degree for physical education, history and driver’s education. I have a master’s in education and a principal licensure. I have taught in all three of my areas of my degree, coached football, basketball, baseball and golf. I have been an athletic director, JPTA (Job Training Partnership Act) coordinator, summer school disciplinarian and high school principal.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born in Antigo while my parents had a farm north of Aniwa. I graduated from Bowler High School. I currently live in Shawano with my wife, Mary. We have five children and four grandchildren. Dustin is a head football coach at Carthage College and is married (Jen) with three children (Tyler, Tessa and Caleb). Zachary is an associate professor at Purdue University and is married (Shaila) with one child (Grace). Emily is a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Webster Stanley in Oshkosh and is married (Matt). Molly works at Plum Media in Milwaukee. Hannah started her first year at the University of Minnesota.

Q: What’s your basic philosophy for learning and child care and parental involvement?

A: Every child can learn. It is our task to find where their interests are and their best way to learn. Then help them enjoy their education so they can be successful at their passion.

Q: Is the student/teacher population one you’ve worked with in the past or is it bigger/smaller?

A: I have been at schools that were smaller and much larger. For the most part, our student-to-teacher ratio in Wittenberg-Birnamwood is very good.

Q: What kinds of adjustments will you be facing in Birnamwood?

A: I don’t know if any adjustments are necessary. This year we will learn what works well and what might need some tweaking. Then as a staff, we will look at making the school an enjoyable place to be for our students and staff. The more people enjoy their environment, the more success that will come out of that experience.

Q: Have you had any experience with school districts like ours facing referendum issues?

A: Shawano and Thorp both passed referendums while I was at each school.

Q: Do you have an opinion about the WBSD referendum questions which will be on the Nov. 6 ballot?

A: If the referendum passes, it will provide more opportunities for our students. The more doors we open for our students, the brighter their future will be as they strive to meet their goals. This will help our students have an experience driven by their passion while they are in school, and the referendum will help us in achieving that goal districtwide.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?

A: I have noticed very dedicated staff in the Wittenberg-Birnamwood school system. I am very proud to be a part of this school district.